One important milestone before a child’s first birthday, I believe, is the beginning of solid feeding. It is significant for both baby and mom, especially for first time mothers, because there is a sense of parting from the newborn stage and welcoming to the baby stage. It is an exciting, nerve wracking, and fun journey, which I am sure a foodie mom like myself would enjoy.
How do you know when your child is ready for solid feeding? Some guidelines would recommend to start when these three signs are met: when baby has already grown his first pair of teeth, when he can already sit upright on his own, and when he can do some chewing movements without the tongue reflex. Of course these all make sense but ultimately we parents are to decide on when we think our child is ready. We do not always have to go by the book. Well at least that’s what I think.
With some consultation with my husband (who is a physician) and our pediatrician, I decided to start my child’s solid feeding at 6 ½ months old. Others may prefer to start earlier, as soon as the so-called requirements are met. I know some moms started at about 5 months. And as long as your pediatrician approves, then I guess there’s no harm in that. Personally, I waited a bit longer because I wanted to make sure my baby’s digestive system is ready. At 6 months old, my baby was not losing weight, which means my breast milk was still sufficient for her nutrition. In fact her growth rate was very consistent. So I did not have to rush.
It could be said that I might just be having some separation anxiety issues but, if you are an exclusively breastfeeding mom like me, you probably would understand and have a bit of hesitation too. I just wanted to take advantage of giving her pure breast milk until she needs it.
Solid feeding involves preparation too. Unlike us adults, babies are more sensitive and introducing food to their system may be harmful if not prepared or given properly. Thus, we need to be more cautious and think about what we are going to give our child for the first time. You can read about the best food to feed your baby for the first time from a lot of journals, or you can consult a nutritionist too. Just make sure to avoid food that may contain allergens such as nuts, wheat, and citrus.
Like I said, this can be exciting for foodie moms like myself. I love cooking and I am sure I will love cooking for my baby! But wait, let’s not get too excited. Babies can only eat a few things right now. We’ll get there! 🙂
The first food I gave my baby was pureed pumpkin. I bought a whole organic pumpkin (I prefer whole because I am a germaphobe and I don’t like the idea of buying pre-sliced fruits and vegetables from the market/grocery), boiled it, pureed it, and mixed in some breast milk. No salt, sugar, or seasoning added. She loved it! Woohoo! 🙂
TIP: Feed the same dish for three consecutive days to check if she is allergic to it. Then change it up to your next veggie on the list. Yes, only veggies please!
Aside from the food itself, we also have to consider the feeding paraphernalia to be used. Please do not emulate me. I am such a hoarder. I got excited during our trip to the States and I ordered so many things that we did not really need in the end. Just get the basics – bowls, spoons, and storage cups. As long as the brands are trusted, you’re safe. Please do not over buy like I did. Now I have so many unused items, I do not know what to do with them. Such a waste of money.
After feeding your baby, it is also very important to keep her feeding tools clean. Sterilize them if you must. You do not want your baby’s things getting molds or getting contaminated by any kind of bacteria. Buy a baby-friendly dishwashing liquid, which contains natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals. There are so many of them and they all smell so good! I like Messy Bessy, Cradle, and Tiny Buds. These three are widely available in department stores.
I am so happy that my baby loves to eat just like mommy! I did not have a hard time giving her all the veggies I could think of…even the greenest ones, she loved! Thank heavens! I wish that she continues to have good appetite until she grows.
Have an amazing solid feeding journey, mommies! 🙂
Newbie mom and still learning,